Supporting Communities

Dorset’s first community loos !

The old public toilets at East Street car park, soon to be replaced by a community run toilet scheme which is being supported by Ros

The old public toilets at East Street car park, soon to be replaced by a community run toilet scheme which is being supported by Ros

I have been working with a constituent who has such a strong community spirit that she bought the redundant toilets in Bridport’s East Street car park when they were sold at auction by West Dorset District Council. The intention is to create two affordable homes and a caretaker’s flat on the site as well as new toilets. I’ve supported the proposals by arranging meetings with planning officers and local builders and a local architect has lent his services pro bono. Watch this space………………

 

Police Station Front Desks to be closed?

With Sherborne Lib Dem Town Councillor, Matt Hall, at the Police Station in Digby Road

With Sherborne Lib Dem Town Councillor, Matt Hall, at the Police Station in Digby Road

A number of concerned people in West Dorset have contacted me about this, especially in Sherborne. Police Station front desk support is the main point of access as far as the public are concerned. A closed police station front end has a huge psychological effect on a community. It sends a strong message that ‘We are not open for business’.  It takes too long for people from Sherborne to travel to Bournemouth or Weymouth, which are the two areas where police stations  will retain normal opening hours and telephone access is not always efficient.

The Police and Crime Commissioner needs to know that the public really care about this – and I would like to see him consider more flexible options than those he has proposed already.

Why not equip station front desks as combined offices so that admin support staff can double up as the main interface with the public when people do call in ?  That would make nearly the same savings as closure and retain the link with the public which, once lost, will be gone forever .  I’m  calling on Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill to rethink proposals to limit opening hours in West Dorset following a commitment made by the PCC to rethink proposals in North Dorset earlier this week.

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